TOKYO – Philippine Paralympic Committee President Mike Barredo on Saturday paid tribute to Rio Paralympic table tennis player and bronze medalist Josephine Medina, who passed away at home last Thursday at the age of 51.
“Ate Jo, as Medina was called, is an example of hard work and dedication to their sport that our national para-athletes can follow and look up to for inspiration,” Barredo said here.
“That made her an exceptional athlete and champion and enabled her to win a bronze medal for the country in Rio.”
Medina broke the country’s 16-year dry spell at the four-year global sports festival featuring the world’s best para-athletes since Adeline Dumapong Ancheta won the first bronze in the women’s powerlifting games at the 2000 Sydney, Australia edition.
“Talagang hard worker Yang si Josephine and addicted to training, which is why she excelled in her sport,” remarked para-athletics coach Joel Deriada, who watched Medina win her bronze medal at Riocentro Pavilion 3 in the Brazilian Carnival capital.
“Ate Jo is really tough in training. It really takes us longer than an hour or two in our four hours of regular training, ”remarked coach Michael Dalumpines, who thanked the Philippine Sports Commission for the quick help from his family in Manila.
Despite her disability, Medina was good enough to be a member of the women’s national team in 1989, according to Dalumpines, himself a former international.
As a graduate of the Polytechnic University of the Philippines, Medina was dominant at the Southeast Asian level and won four gold medals at the ASEAN Para Games 2008 in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand.
It also won gold medals in each of the 2014, 2015 and 2017 editions of the meeting, which was held in Naypyidaw, Myanmar, Singapore, and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Medina won silver at the Asian Para Games in Guangzhou in 2010 and in Jakarta in 2018, as well as a bronze medal at the 2014 Incheon edition.